Financial Administration

UW System Travel Regulations

XV. TRAVEL ADVANCES

Preaudit steps for this section

  1. Only faculty and staff on the payroll at the time of the advance request, or new employees in connection with a household move, may be eligible to receive a travel advance. Parameters concerning eligibility and dollar limits for a travel advance may be set by the institution business office.

  2. The UW System has a contract with US Bank to provide no-fee travel cards for the purpose of reducing travel advances. All UW employees who travel on UW business at least once per calendar year should apply for a travel card to use in connection with their travel. Since the bulk of travel-related expenses may be charged to a UW purchasing card or placed on an employee-issued travel card, employees should refrain from requesting a travel advance.

  3. In those instances where an advance is necessary and allowable, it shall not exceed 80% of the estimated expenses to be paid by the traveler. Advance amounts must be rounded to the nearest $1. Continuous advances for frequent travelers must not exceed 80% of estimated average monthly travel expenses. Estimates for lodging or meals that exceed the applicable maximums for the destination involved must be justified on the travel advance form. Expenses that are direct-billed or can be paid using a charge card should not be included in the estimate.

  4. Advances must be returned immediately if the trip is cancelled or accounted for on a TER by the employee who received the advance no later than 30 days following completion of the scheduled trip. Advances not accounted for within 30 days after completion of the trip must be deducted from the employee's next paycheck to avoid treatment of the advance as taxable income.

    The amount due the traveler will be reduced by any advance received and a check will be issued for the net amount due. In cases where the advance exceeds the expenditure, a check payable to the institution shall accompany the TER. An additional advance must not be granted to an employee who has a previous advance which is overdue and unaccounted for. Continuous advances for frequent travelers should be accounted for when frequent travel is no longer required of the employee.

    Incurring expenses which exceed the amount of the travel advance or deduction of the travel advance from an employee's salary check does not eliminate the requirement that the employee account for the expenditures on a TER.

  5. Requests for a travel advance should be submitted early enough to allow sufficient lead time for processing. Travel advances should not be issued prior to seven days before departure unless a satisfactory explanation is provided.

  6. The Request for Travel Advance form must be personally signed by the traveler and approved by the supervisor.

  7. Group travel advances may be issued for student group travel for activities such as forensics, outreach, athletics, music and drama as either a continuous or a single-trip advance. A continuous group travel advance may also be issued to a "group travel advance fund" to be used for any student group travel or for a specific student group's travel (e.g., the UW-XXX Athletic Department Travel Advance Fund). Advances for group travel may equal 100% of the estimated travel cost for the entire length of the trip, but must be accounted for in the same manner and with the same due dates as regular travel advances.

    Reimbursement claims for cash allowances provided by employees to students or others must be supported by a receipt statement signed by the recipient that states the amount received and which expenses are covered by the allowance.

  8. Institutions should have adequate controls in place to ensure that these funds are obtained only for official business purposes and that they are recovered and accounted for before the employee terminates UW employment.